REVIEW: Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets

Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets

Being from the Midwest, I didn’t know anything about Cuban sandwiches until I moved to California. You read that correctly. It took a move 1,600 miles in the wrong direction for me to finally experience the warm, toasty delights of the Mixto — roasted pork, sliced ham, swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard on fresh Cuban bread pressed with a plancha (iron) and cut diagonally across the center. ¡Delicioso! So far be it from me to shy away from sampling the newest addition to the Hot Pockets line-up, the Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pocket.

Much like the East Coast/West Coast hip hop feud of yore, there’s a rivalry between Tampa and Miami regarding ownership of the Cuban sandwich. Tampa appears to be the original home of the Mixto (a.k.a the Cubano), which was introduced there in the 1890s by hungry Cuban cigar factory workers in the Ybor City neighborhood. They did, however, add salami to the sandwich — a highly controversial move, especially considering how Miami’s sandwich artists have adhered to the traditional recipe. I suppose this would be the “Who Shot Ya?” event of the sandwich war because things really popped off after that.

Suffice it to say, the salami-free Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets seem to welcome me to the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach ‘til the break of dawn. Bienvenido a Miami

These Hot Pockets are demanding that I get Pitbull on the phone and tell him to meet us in the V.I.P. at LIV for some bottle service after the Heat game and then afterwards, crank up the salsa as we speed to the Ritz-Carlton South Beach in our yellow Lambo for the after party.

Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets Whole

But before I book that plane ticket, let’s pause for a moment and talk about Cuban bread. It’s delicious and airy with that necessary touch of fat that makes Cuban bread Cuban and almost all other bread crap. I can’t be sure that the Hot Pockets people have injected lard into their crust, but the Cuban Style Hot Pocket is soft and delicious. True, the crust isn’t crispy since these Hot Pockets are heated in the microwave and don’t come with a crisping sleeve, but it isn’t soggy either. It manages to maintain a perfectly bread-like exterior with the right amount of give and softness without becoming a mushy mess.

Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets Innards

When it comes to the innards of the Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets, they closely approximate the makeup of authentic Cuban sandwiches. They are full of pickle flavor, but I’m at a loss trying to explain where the intense pickle-y taste actually comes from. How did they manage to get so much flavor out of these itsy bitsy chunks of pickle? The meat portion of this Hot Pocket consists of diced ham and sliced pork — two delicious meats that come from the same magically delicious animal. There is a hint of mustard in the Hot Pocket, but it definitely takes a backseat to the pickle flavor.

Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets Sliced

The Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pocket is a winner with a pleasantly soft crust, savory pork bits, gooey Swiss cheese, tangy pickles, and no salami. Though it lacks the crispy, toasted texture one can only get from using a sandwich press instead of a microwave, I am positive that anyone looking for some Cubano goodness won’t be disappointed. Just don’t tell Tampa.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 260 calories, 90 fat calories, 10 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, 15% Calcium, 10%Iron, 0% Vitamin C, 2% Vitamin A.)

Item: Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets
Purchased Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 2 sandwiches
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Pickles, pork & cheese. Thick, soft bread. Lard injections. Pitbull.
Cons: Teensy mystery pickles. Sandwich feuds. Definitely not plancha crispy. Only around for a short time.

8 thoughts to “REVIEW: Limited Edition Cuban Style Hot Pockets”

  1. When I was a kid, I favored the West Coast, but now that I’m in my early 30’s I’ve discovered what was so great about the East Coast. Regardless, nothing beats Snoop’s epic rant at the ’95 Source Awards. And Suge Knight was 100% right about producers being on the albums.

  2. I bought these last night and the mustard flavor is overwhelming in mine…must vary from batch to batch. (For me, the megapickle flavor you experienced would have been preferable.) Still, it was way better than a Hot Pocket had any right to be!

  3. I’m shocked that these are at all good. I’m definitely going to try them.


  5. Not a fan…they were ok at best. I grew up in Miami and had quite a few Cuban sandwiches in my life. I always preferred the sweet bread to Cuban bread. I thought the pickle flavor in these was overwhelming but not in the traditional Cuban sandwich way. I also felt that it didn’t have the necessary Swiss cheese flavor that I’m used too. I don’t know what they are like on the west coast but for someone that has nothing to compare too, they are good.

  6. I am in love with the cuban sandwich, and this doesn’t even come close to approximating its wonder. I really loved the soft crust, I’ll get that positive out of the way first. For me the killer was the fact there was a very sweet mustard flavor that didn’t taste like pickle at all…it was very off putting and very artificial flavored. The cheese was not swiss, and I didn’t get a roasted pork flavor out of it, just cheap ham. This is far from being a winner in my book, and is an insult to the classic cuban sandwich. something as simple as swiss cheese and maybe real pickles added in would have saved this.

  7. I lived in Coconut Grove Florida (Miami) for fifteen years many years ago and never forgot or missed the Media Noches or Cuban Sandwich. Thank you for your limited edition. I recently tried your frozen variety at the local Target and crave more since this is as close as I can come to the real deal. this is so NOT Mexican style food – it is definitely Cuban style. Please direct me to your order department. I miss the sea and the Cuban Sandwich!

    Thank you.


  8. As a Cuban American I feel I need to break Political Correctness as to the REAL reason behind the difference between Miami’s Cuban Sandwich and Tampa’s version.
    Communism, and more specifically Russia.
    The Miami version is the Traditional Cuban Sandwich. And in the Old Days, served the same in Tampa.
    Then came the Cuban Missile Crises. Russians had been in Cuba for a while, and they preferred some Salami in their sandwiches. So this became the ‘New Mix’ sandwich. Cuban Refugees arriving in Miami in the late 80’s and beyond were no longer leaving Cuba because they hated Communism, but because they wanted to exploit
    America’s Welfare Wealth. The local Cuban population quickly caught on that these were Cubans who loved the Castro’s and believed that America would become a Socialist Country.
    Things got hot and most of the ‘New Cubans’ relocated to Tampa, taking their Russian inspired sandwich with them.
    And now you know the rest of the story.

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